Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Celine Dion, Josh Groban – I have to stop the list somewhere – and a host of others have recorded the stanzas of O Holy Night with its universal theme “and the soul felt its worth.” Since this French Christmas poem was first written in 1847, it has continued to reach people worldwide, transcending cultures and faith traditions now as when it first appeared.
My husband and I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” the other night. Though I’ve seen this holiday classic many times over the years, a new perspective stood out to me. George Bailey, Jimmy Stewart’s character, discovered his worth, his God-given purpose during a crisis threatening his family’s home and solvency. The startling realization of his inherent relationship to good (what I call God), served to re-connect him to his family, to Christmas and resulted in a unique solution to his possible bankruptcy. The movie remains a favorite for the values it conveys.
I understand that the celebration of Jesus’s birth points to God’s unfailing love and plan for one’s daily life. Jesus knew himself as a child of God, his “soul felt its worth”. His knowledge of men and women as the “image and likeness” of God, gave him the ability to heal others of all ailments. This was explained by the angel thought to his mother Mary, “With God nothing shall be impossible.” We may too find this promise true.
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